TIFF2014 :: Hand Picked Films From A Toronto Film Festival Director

by Shannonn Kelly
06:45AM, EST, September 04, 2014

Go to Character actor Timothy Spall gets his own light in Mr. Turner, directed by Mike Leigh.
The UK’s ‘go to’ character actor Timothy Spall gets his own light in “Mr. Turner”, directed by Mike Leigh.

While Cannes, Sundance, Telluride and TIFF fight over policy and premiere status, the good news is for audiences is that around 30 films from Telluride this past weekend and Cannes festival in May and Sundance, will premiere to Toronto audiences at the 39th Annual Toronto International Film Festival starting today.

What TIFF doesn’t really get is that most cinephiles don’t travel all over the world to see films at other film festivals. This is mainly what film festival programmers do. So no matter where a film has premiered outside of the country of Canada before, it’s still a premiere to Toronto audiences.

According to the TorontoStar.com:

TIFF’s new policy states that all films playing during the fest’s first four days, from Thursday through Sunday inclusive, must be either be a World or North American premiere. Films failing to meet these criteria will screen in the last week of the 11-day event.

Cannes Winners coming to TIFF that I highly suggest are:

  1. MR. TURNER (UK) director (the incredible) Mike Leigh cast (the incredible) UK character actor staple, Timothy Spall in the ultimate “Art film” where Spall shines brilliantly in this biopic period piece that starts in 1826 about J.M.W. Turner, one of the greatest English landscape painters of all time. Timothy Spall won the Best Actor prize at Cannes for his outstanding performance.
  2. LEVIATHAN (Russia) director Andrey Zvyagintsev  Won Best Screenplay at Cannes and is the story about a proud patriarch fighting to protect his family home from a corrupt local official in post Soviet Russia.
  3. FOXCATCHER (USA) director Bennett Miller won for Best Director at Cannes in May. He also directed “Capote” (2005) and “Moneyball” (2011). It stars Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo as brothers in the true life story of Olympic wrestler Mark Schultz, whose relationship with sponsor John du Pont and brother Dave Schultz would lead to unlikely circumstances. It also stars Anthony Michael Hall, Steve Carell and Sienna Miller.
  4. MOMMY (Quebec, Canada) director Xavier Dolan won the Jury Prize, and an extended standing ovation, at Cannes for his latest feature.

Other films on my list include:

  1. AN EYE FOR BEAUTY / Le règne de la beauté (Quebec, Canada) According to TIFF: Romantic drama becomes a means for a sharply observant societal critique in the new film from Academy Award winner Denys Arcand (The Barbarian Invasions), about a married Québécois architect who embarks upon a torrid love affair with a young Toronto woman. While many critics say the story doesn’t live up to the usual ‘Arcand’ standards, the film should still be heads above a bad ‘Canadian’ film.
  2. A LITTLE CHAOS, (UK) director Alan Rickman also stars as King Louis XIV in this historical drama of the female landscape-gardener of Versailles played by Kate Winslet. This is Rickman’s 2nd feature that he directed. His first was 17 years ago, “The Winter Guest” starring Emma Thompson.
  3. A SECOND CHANCE / En chance til (Denmark) director Susanne Bier. This is the 2nd film from Denmark on my list this year. Bier directs this story that asks how far would decent human beings be willing to go, when tragedy blurs the line between just and unjust?
  4. BOYCHOIR (Quebec, Canada) director François Girard who directed “Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould” and “The Red Violin”. Two of my favorites. This family friendly film stars Dustin Hoffman who had his directorial debut last year at the age of 76 with “Quartet”. Hoffman also stars in the highly anticipated “The Cobbler”.
  5. CAKE (USA) director Daniel Barnz gives Jennifer Aniston her “Blind Side” role as the acerbic, hilarious Claire Simmons who becomes fascinated by the suicide of a woman in her chronic pain support group. While I am NOT and never will be an Aniston fan, I’m as curious as the next person to see her in this film which didn’t have the best start in pre-production. The film also stars Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington, William H. Macy and his lovely talented wife, Felicity Huffman.
  6. COMING HOME (China) Director Yimou Zhang who helmed the excellent “House of Flying Daggers” (2004), directs this script from novel turned screenplay about a Chinese man who is forced into marriage and flees to America, but when he returns home, he is sent to a labor camp. It stars the lovely Li Gong, and the dashing Daoming Chen.
  7. EDEN (France) director Mia Hansen-Løve. Felix de Givry, Greta Gerwig, Pauline Etienne star in this underground dance music film which traces the rise of the French electronic-music boom in the 1990s and the DJ who’s credited with inventing “French house” music. Music in the film includes Daft Punk, Joe Smooth and Frankie Knuckles.
  8. FOREIGN BODY / OBCI CIALO (Poland) Director Krysztof Zanussi – According to TIFF: A dashing young Italian in Poland finds himself caught between two women — a novitiate nun and a ruthless corporate ladder-climber — in this lacerating vision of contemporary Poland.
  9. GETT, THE TRIAL OF VIVIANE AMSALEM / GETT, LE PROCÈS DE VIVANE AMSALEM (Israel) directors Ronit Elkabetz, Shlomi Elkabetz bring you a riveting and timely courtroom drama where in Israel there is neither civil marriage nor civil divorce. Only rabbis can legitimate a marriage or its dissolution. But this dissolution is only possible with full consent from the husband, who in the end has more power that the judges. Viviane Amsalem has been applying for divorce for three years. But her husband Elisha will not agree. His cold intransigence, Viviane’s determination to fight for her freedom, and the ambiguous role of the judges shape a procedure in which tragedy vies with absurdity, and everything is brought out for judgment, apart from the initial request.
  10. ITSI BITSI (Denmark) director Ole Christian Madsen (Flame & Citron) directs this 1962 countercultural romance based on events where Peace activist Eik Skaløe meets Iben and falls head over heels in love, but when Iben refuses to commit herself to one man, Eik tries to win her over by transforming from poet to writer, nomad, junkie and eventually lead singer in the destined-to-become-legendary band STEPPEULVENE.
  11. LIFE IN A FISHBOWL / VONARSTRÆTI (Iceland, Finland, Sweden, Czech Republic) director Baldvin Zophoníasson presides over an intriguing, According to TIFF: multiple-narrative drama that follows three people — a struggling single mother, a former athlete trying to scale the corporate ladder, and a once-acclaimed author turned full-time drunk — whose lives intersect in surprising ways.
  12. MAGICAL GIRL (Spain) director Carlos Vermut conducts a stylish noir thriller about the father of an ill girl who tries to obtain his daughter last wish, the dress of the main character of a Japanese TV series.
  13. MAY ALLAH BLESS FRANCE !  (France) director Abd Al Malik is a French rapper, author, and spoken word artist. This is his directorial debut with this adaptation of his 2004 autobiography, chronicling his upbringing in the crime-and drug-ridden streets of Strasbourg and his life-changing encounters with hip hop and religion.
  14. NIGHTCRAWLER (USA) director Dan Gilroy. Two words. Jake Gyllenhaal. He’s a down and outer who  stumbles upon the underground world of L.A. freelance crime journalism. This film also brings back Rene Russo who we haven’t seen in quite awhile
  15. OVER YOUR DEAD BODY  / KUIME (Japan) director Takashi Miike A theatre troupe rehearsing a classic play of murder, betrayal and vengeance find life bloodily imitating art backstage at a Kabuki performance.
  16. PRIDE (United Kingdom) director Matthew Warchus Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton and Paddy Considine star in this story of UK gay and lesbian activists work to help Welsh  miners during their lengthy strike of the National Union of Mineworkers in the summer of 1984.
  17. SHELTER (United Kingdom) the directorial debut of actor Paul Bettany. I’m recommending this as a study more than a powerhouse outing. Bettany was born into a ‘theatre family‘. His maternal grandmother, Olga Gwynne was a successful actress, his maternal grandfather, Lesley Kettle, was a musician. Bettany’s father, Thane Bettany, is still an actor, his mother, Anne Kettle, now retired, was an actress. Bettany’s older sister is a writer. I want to see what he can do first hand… besides being almost transparent eye candy. Bettany has also (of course) cast his wife, actress Jennifer Connelly and Anthony Mackie who I think does some pretty good work.
  18. SPRING (USA) directors, co-editors Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead serve up a love story, horror, romance with a supernatural twist when an American backpacker (Lou Taylor Pucci, “Evil Dead”) while in Italy, falls in love with a beautiful young woman harboring a dark “primordial” secret, played by the stunning German actress Nadia Hilker. Well, I know Italy doesn’t have moors, so there goes that guess.
  19. TALES OF THE GRIM SLEEPER (USA) directed by Nick Broomfield this documentary delves into a cold case about a notorious serial killer known as the “Grim Sleeper,” who terrorized South Central Los Angeles over a span of twenty-five years. The man thought to be the suspect was incarcerated in 2010, but the ongoing investigation has stalled because as the premise surmises, the suspect is black…
  20. THE LITTLE DEATH (Australia) director Josh Lawson. I’ve had an on-going love affair with Australian films. There’s a quirk and a darkness that’s similar to films from Denmark, Iceland, Norway, but still a very distinct and different voice. This dark, sex comedy is another multi-story narrative: A woman with a dangerous fantasy and her partners struggle to please her. A man who begins an affair with his own wife without her knowing anything about it. A couple struggling to keep things together after a sexual experiment spins out of control. A woman who can only find pleasure in her husband’s pain. A call centre operator caught in the middle of a dirty and chaotic phone call. And the distractingly charming new neighbour who connects them all.
  21. THE ELEPHANT SONG / La chanson de l’éléphant (Quebec, Canada) director Charles Binamé has a goldmine on his hands with actor, filmmaker Xavier Dolan who plays Michael, a troubled psychiatric patient.
  22. THE GOLDEN ERA / HUANG JIN SHI DAI (China) director Ann Hui. According to TIFF: The prodigious output of Chinese essayist and novelist Xiao Hong, long overshadowed by the careers of more established male writers in her literary circle, has only recently been discovered. Directed with both authority and grace by Ann Hui, The Golden Era bridges the gaps and tells the story of an exceptional life marked with tragedy and the signs of genius, Hui’s film is a wondrous reflection of China’s turbulent 1930s.
  23. TOKYO TRIBE (Japan) According to TIFF: Midnight Madness favorite Shion Sono (Why Don’t You Play in Hell?, winner of the 2013 People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award) (which I absolutely loved) ventures even further into uncharted cinematic territory with this yakuza-street gang-hip hop-musical epic. Avoiding the usual fresh young faces of Japanese films, Sono chose to cast real rappers, tattoo artists and stunt performers in many of the main acting roles, a rebellious move that brings vibrancy and freshness to his outlandish street-fighting epic.
  24. WETBUM (USA) director Lindsay Mackay in her directorial debut is getting a lot of buzz on her first outing of a story about Sam is a self-conscious yet stubborn 14-year-old girl who, like many teenagers, is searching for a place to belong. After landing herself into trouble, she is forced to work as a cleaner in the retirement home run by her mother. In between shifts at the home, she tries to find solace in the only place she can, the pool, but it becomes the place where deepest insecurities collide with her raging hormones.
  25. WHIPLASH (USA) director Damien Chazelle has had my attention since Sundance where he won both the Audience Award and Grand Jury prizes on this film about A young musician played by Miles Teller who struggles to make it as a top jazz drummer under the almost masochistic tutor J.K. Simmons (Law & Order, Oz)
  26. WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS (New Zealand) director Taika Waititi (Boy, Eagle vs Shark) and Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords) co-direct and star in this hilarious mockumentary about a trio of vampires living in a New Zealand suburb who struggle to adapt to life in the 21st century.
  27. WINTER SLEEP / KIS UYKUSU (Turkey) director Nuri Bilge Ceylan who won the Palme D’Or and the FIPRESCI prize at Cannes, brings us a drama set in central Anatolia about a small-town innkeeper whose cultural pretensions and smug self-satisfaction are fatefully undermined over the course of an eventful winter.

You know every year since I’ve been doing this list I always promote world cinema and steer clear of Hollywood films that have distribution and are going to hit theaters in the next 3-4 months. But sometimes you have to break that rule. Here’s why in 2014:

  1. INFINITELY POLAR BEAR (USA) director Maya Forbes cut her writing teeth on The Larry Sanders Show and as a co-writer on Monsters vs. Aliens (09), and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (12). A little surprised this is a Gala event. Given this is based on her family growing up and a writer should always write what they know, this may be a good choice. But a Gala…? Mark Ruffalo plays a loving husband and father struggling with manic depression, who is forced to raise his two young daughters on his own. Mark Ruffalo, J.J. Abrams also serve as executive producers. Did I mention it stars Mark Ruffalo…?
  2. THE JUDGE (USA) director David Dobkin. Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall respectively play a defense attorney father and a judge in this tight legal drama, where they also play father and son. This is a film loaded with ‘acting chops’ when you also figure in co-starts, Billy Bod Thornton, Vincent D’Onofrio, Vera Farmiga, and Jeremy Strong.
  3. MAPS TO THE STARS (Canada / USA) director David Cronenberg with a satirical drama about a Hollywood family chasing fame and and trying to come to grips with ghosts from the past. While the film itself may not be great, the performance of Julianne Moore is.  Moore won the Best Actress Award after its Cannes premiere. The film got its theatrical release in France on May 21 right after Cannes. It also stars Robert Pattinson(yes he can act) and John Cusack. Right now the buzz is Moore may lose a shot at an Oscar nod, because  Focus World, who acquired the United States distribution rights will not be giving it a theatrical release until 2015. All Oscar contenders have to screen before the end of November.
  4. THE COBBLER (USA) director Thomas McCarthy is an actor turned director, with some pretty impressive outings helming, The Station Agent (2003) and “The Visitor” (2007) both exceptional films with an indie feel that garnered tons of award nominations, including Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for Richard Jenkins. McCarthy himself won the BAFTA (UK equivalent of the Oscar) for The Station Agent and nominated for and Oscar for “Up” in 2010. The Cobbler which opens in USA theaters September 11th, stars Adam Sandler as the Cobbler, Dan Stevens, Dustin Hoffman, Steve Buscemi, Ellen Barkin and the incredible Marlon Brando meets Billy Bob Thornton-esque actor Glenn Fleshler who played the villain Errol Childress in “True Detective”.

The 39th Annual Toronto International Film Festival runs September 04-14. For Programs and Tickets, please Click HERE.

TIFF 2012 :: Review :: Seven Psychopaths – Cruel and Crazy Makes for Good Fun

by Shannonn Kelly
06:03AM, EST, October 12, 2012

The much anticipated “Seven Psychopaths” opens today in ‘nationwide release’ in the USA, as well as Iceland, Taiwan and part of the 41st Annual Sitges Film Festival in Sitges, Spain, a coastal town 21 miles south of Barcelona.

Olga Kurylenko, Christopher Walken, Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Abbie Cornish, Tom Waits and Woody Harrelson are the “Seven Psychopaths”

Seven Psychopaths” by “In Bruges” screenwriter, director Martin McDonagh won the BlackBerry® People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award at the 37th Annual Toronto International Film Festival.

I saw the premiere and it was an absolute madhouse with one of the biggest star-studded casts ever to grace the Midnight Madness red carpet. I counted 67 media outlets at the September 7th premiere, which was 1 ½  hours late.

First to arrive was screenwriter Martin McDonagh, then Olga Kurylenko looking stunning in her back and front oh no you didn’t plunge to there chocker dress. Next a discombobulated looking Christopher Walken. Behind him was Colin Farrell who gladly autographed his way through the rapid fans.

Review :: “Seven Psychopaths” ::  3 ½  out of 5

Continue reading “TIFF 2012 :: Review :: Seven Psychopaths – Cruel and Crazy Makes for Good Fun”

TIFF 2012 : : BlackBerry People’s Choice Midnight Madness Winner – Seven Psychopaths

by Shannonn Kelly
05:15AM, EST, September 17, 2012

Olga Kurylenko, Christopher Walken, Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Abbie Cornish, Tom Waits and Woody Harrelson are the “Seven Psychopaths”

Seven Psychopaths” by “In Bruges” screenwriter, director Martin McDonagh wins the BlackBerry® People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award at the 37th Annual International Toronto International Film Festival.

I saw all of the following films below for the 24th installment of TIFF Midnight Madness:

  1. DREDD 3D (Click for Review)
  2. SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS (Review to Follow)
  3. NO ONE LIVES (Mini Review to Follow)
  4. HELLBENDERS (Mini Review to Follow)
  5. THE LORDS OF SALEM (Mini Review to Follow)
  6. AFTERSHOCK (Review to Follow)
  7. THE BAY (Review to Follow)
  8. COME OUT AND PLAY (Mini Review to Follow)
  9. THE ABCs OF DEATH (Review to Follow)
  10. JOHN DIES AT THE END (Review to Follow)

First Runner up winner was “The Bay” by Barry Levinson with “John Dies at the End” by Don Coscarelli as the Second Runner-Up.

Veteran writer, director Barry Levinson makes you fear “The Bay”…

My Tweet:

Director Barry Levinson NAILS IT! With stealthy lo-fi “eco-thriller’ of summer tourist town THE BAY at #MMadnessTIFF #TIFF12 #TIFF_Talk

TIFF 2012 : : BlackBerry People’s Choice Documentary Winner – Artifact

by Shannonn Kelly
9:42PM, EST, September 16, 2012

“Artifact” is the story of record label EMI and their spirit crushing attempt to destruct Jared Leto and his band Thirty Seconds To Mars.

Artifact” the rock-umentary on Jared Leto and his band Thirty Seconds to Mars label war with EMI wins the BlackBerry® People’s Choice Documentary Award at the 37th Annual International Toronto International Film Festival.

The documentary “Artifact” is the story of record label EMI and their spirit crushing attempt to destruct and bankrupt Jared Leto and his band ‘Thirty Seconds To Mars‘ with members Sarajevo-born Tomo Miličević and brother Shannon Leto.

All 3 screenings at TIFF 2012 were stuffed with an enthusiastic ‘meow mix‘ of adoring female fans and it’s an informed guess that it was the female vote that pushed “Artifact” over the top to win. You can read my ‘mini-review’ Here. Continue reading “TIFF 2012 : : BlackBerry People’s Choice Documentary Winner – Artifact”

TIFF 2012 : : BlackBerry People’s Choice Award Winner – Silver Linings Playbook

by Shannonn Kelly
9:06PM, EST, September 16, 2012

Harvey Weinstein Does It Again! David O. Russell’s “Silver Linings Playbook” Wins the BlackBerry® People’s Choice Award at the 37th Annual Toronto International Film Festival.

The films stars Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro in a dark comedy about a teacher (Cooper), after spending time in a mental institution moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when he meets a mysterious girl with problems of her own.

Russell, also wrote and directed “Three Kings“, “I Heart Huckabees” and “The Fighter” nominated for 7 Academy Awards in 2011 and won Best Supporting Oscars for both Christian Bale and Melissa Leo.

The Weinstein Company (TWC) is an independent American film studio founded by Harvey CBE (Hon) and Bob Weinstein in 2005 after the brothers left the then Disney-owned Miramax Films, which they had co-founded in 1979. The Weinstein Company represents “Silver Linings Playbook”.

Harvey Weinstein also represents “The Master” which many filmgoers at TIFF thought would win as it did when it swept up awards at the recent Venice Film Festival. Entertainment Weekly calls it ““one of the great movies of the year!” ”The Master” written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson and starring the strong cast of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams goes into wider release Friday September 21.


TIFF 2012 : : Final Day – Last Chance Films and That’s a Wrap!

by Shannonn Kelly
03:24AM, EST, September 16, 2012

Today I saw:

  • Artifact” (USA)  As one of the few present at today’s screening that is not a big “Thirty Seconds To Mars” fan, I have to say, “I get it.” Jared Leto is accessible, charming and of course talented. I first discovered Leto in “The Thin Red Line” and thought he was outstanding in “Requiem for a Dream” (as did everyone else).

    Also, the fact that he was born and raised near Shreveport, he gets an automatic cool badge, as I love everything about that state on my 22 visits to Louisiana.

    Watching Leto go through the pains of a label war with EMI records showed me a another side of him I never really knew, always striving to be ‘zen-like’ in his approach and reaction to the hailstorm of shit around him while he and his band members, brother  Shannon Leto (drums, percussion) and Tomo Miličević (lead guitar, keyboards) try to record a new album. Kudos!

    Add “Artifact” to the list of super cool music rock-umentaries that can proudly stand as the spirited* kid brother beside “It Might Get Loud” and “Pearl Jam Twenty“.My upload of the Jared Leto “Artifact” Q&A can be found below.

  • Miss Lovely” (Mumbai) Story of the Duggan brothers who produce sleazy C-grade horror/porn films in the mid-1980s Bombay. Everything about the film was grimy and unsavory. I would’ve liked to have known from the director if the sets still existed or was it all dressed. Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui who played younger brother Sonu reminded me of an early era Tony Curtis)
  • Jayne Mansfield’s Car” (USA) Taking place in 1969 Morrison, Alabama, this is the story of a family of 3 brothers and sister ripped apart when their mother leaves them for a life in England 20 years earlier. She’s died and her English step-son calls Alabama to say she wants to be buried back home. Written, directed and starring Billy Bob Thornton, I was expecting something to equal or surpass “Slingblade“. It didn’t. )

I’m writing this blog after the final film in the 24th installment of TIFF Midnight Madness. I just finished my day with “John Dies At The End“, directed by Bubba Ho-tep helmer Don Coscarelli.

Featuring a no-name cast for the exception of genre fave Clancy Brown, this last film was an efficient, funny and fairly fast paced “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” for the Midnight crowd based on the book by John Wong. My blog reviews for some of these films will follow post TIFF 2012.

Continue reading “TIFF 2012 : : Final Day – Last Chance Films and That’s a Wrap!”

TIFF 2012 : : Day 10 – Films You Should See and MUST See

by Shannonn Kelly
03:38AM, EST, September 15, 2012

Fran Kranz in “Much Ado About Nothing” by Joss Whedon

I feel I must make a confession. I never saw a single episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” or “Firefly” or “Angel” or “Dollhouse“.

I get that many of the cast in “Much Ado about Nothing” are from Whedon’s popular TV series, including actor Fran Kranz (who was superb in the film). But, when Nathan Fillion popped up playing Dogberry as a seasoned cop/tired film noir gumshoe, I roared. So did the audience.

Yesterday,  I officially became a Joss Whedon fan.

I first learned of Nathan Fillion from “Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place” where he played Johnny Donnelly. TGAGAAPP also brought attention to the much under-used Richard Ruccolo and now Hollywood A-lister Ryan Reynolds. Other than the occasional film, I never watched Nathan Fillion in much until I saw him again in “Desperate Housewives“.

Then last year, I discovered “Castle“. It’s now my guilty pleasure thanks to people urging me on GetGlue to check out the previous seasons.

Nathan Fillion was among a very unusual and fresh feeling cast that makes Whedon’s modern retelling of Shakespeare’s classic comedy about two pairs of lovers a clever, thinking-person’s hit at the 37th Toronto International Film Festival. Thank you @JossWhedon. My blog review will follow post TIFF 2012.

Today I also saw:

  • Men At Lunch” (Ireland: A moving documentary that unearthed the mystery about who were those 11 men sitting high atop a Manhattan girder  having lunch in 1932). My blog review will follow post TIFF
  • The ABC’s Of Death” (Various: 26 filmmakers from 15 countries cinematically walk you through an alphabetized list of blood, guts and gore. Many of those filmmakers were in attendance at Midnight Madness. The Q&A was pretty laid back. The standout letters of the film were: D, F, L, O, Q, R, T and X. The runners up were letters A, H, N, S and Y )

Continue reading “TIFF 2012 : : Day 10 – Films You Should See and MUST See”

TIFF 2012 : : Day 9 – Films You Should See

by Shannonn Kelly
03:10AM, EST, September 14, 2012

What a DAY! 14 hours of film viewing and Q&As. I’m exhausted beyond exhausted but here are some of my highlights:

Alice Lowe and Steve Oram play murderous “Sightseers” in Ben Wheatley’s version of a Bonnie and Clyde tale.
  • Sightseers
    By director Ben Wheatley was the unexpected highpoint of my day, filled with murderous mayhem through the English countryside when two sad sack lovers on their first ‘dirty weekend’ together exact their own brand of civil justice. It’s “The Trip” meets “No Country for Old Men”
  • Sons of the Clouds: The Last Colony
    I learned about a part of the world I hear nothing about in the media and the terrible injustice done to the native Sahwari people of northern Africa: the Western Sahara, which has the distinction of being the last “colony” on the African continent.
  • Smashed
    Very small almost Made-for-TV feel independent film about a couple that drinks to celebrate everything, everyday. Unusual casting, but it all works.
  • Peaches Does Herself
    What do you say about a girl who wants it all. Peaches showed up with 18 people from the “Live Show” documentary for the premiere. An added highlight for me was the on-screen appearance of one of the most gorgeous he/she creatures I’ve ever seen. Dannii Daniels absolutely took my breath away. Her presence was totally magnificent.
  • Come Out and Play
    By Russian director now living in Mexico who goes by the moniker “Makinov”. No last name and the film was no good. But, beautifully shot… Midnight Madness crowd left in droves grumbling feedback such as: “That’s the worst movie I’ve ever seen.”, “What the hell what Makinov thinking?”, “What a waste of my time.”…

Some blog reviews will follow post TIFF. Continue reading “TIFF 2012 : : Day 9 – Films You Should See”

TIFF 2012 : : Day 8 – Films You Should See

by Shannonn Kelly
02:52AM, EST, September 13, 2012

So glad I only had 2 films to see yesterday. It was ‘Hump Day‘ and believe me I could feel it. I was definitely dragging myself around.

Masato Sakai, Teruyuki Kagawa in the side-splitting “Key of Life”

It was worth it to venture out to see “Key of Life” by Japanese director Kenji Uchida. It was one of my Top picks.

Uchida is known as Japan’s master of screwball comedy and it showed in this hilarious tale about a failed actor who switches identities with a stranger at a bath house — only to find himself filling the shoes of an elite assassin My blog review will follow later this week.

My Tweet: “Key of Life” by Kenji Uchida #Japan is a skillful twisty-turny ode to screwball comedy masters Howard Hawks & Billy Wilder A *must* see! #TIFF12

Key of Life” opens in wide release in Japan on Friday September 15th. Continue reading “TIFF 2012 : : Day 8 – Films You Should See”

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From your friends
9th Annual ReelHeART International Film Festival

June 25-29, 2013
The “Filmmakers Film Festival”